Vauxhall’s Antara | Spyshots | New Antara for US

Published: 05 October 2009

The Vauxhall Antara’s US adventure is over. Our spies have caught the Vauxhall/Opel Antara testing registered on Michigan plates, but its intended Saturn sponsor has had the rug pulled from under its feet, dashing its chances of launching Stateside.

Last week, GM pulled the plug on its Saturn brand as part of a shake-up post bankruptcy. That spells the end for this project to transform the Antara from a Euro-spec SUV to an American 4×4 for the soon-to-be-defunct Saturn brand.

Both Ford and GM are desperately trying to strip away the duplication in product line-ups around the globe, yet GM doesn’t sell the Antara, or its Chevrolet sister version the Captiva, in the US yet.

Earlier this summer we papped the Vauxhall Insignia being tested on American soil in preparation for launch there as the Buick Regal. Despite the Antara set-back, we’d still expect further integration over the coming months as product planners aim to cut back on the massive duplication that adds billions to car makers’ bills.

Is it not perhaps a facelift for the Vauxhall Antara?

The Antara is due a facelift in autumn 2010, with a light freshen-up for the styling and some engine upgrades. The usual sort of mid-life fillip really. Its Chevrolet Captiva sibling will follow suit in spring 2011.

However, we understand that this car pictured here is in fact the Saturn Antara and not the European version.

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, motoring news magnet